040 ROH Generation Next 5/22/2004

ROH 40 – Generation Next – 22nd May 2004

By this point, if you were part of the ROH ownership you’d be tearing your hair out. Nothing can go right at the moment, and that continues tonight, as the Philadelphia National Guard Armory booted ROH out (much like Braintree last week) as the military had been mobilised. However, unlike last week, poor ROH failed to find another venue. Rumour has it they were close to securing the ECW Arena but no dice…and there even rumblings of an unlikely return to the Murphy Rec, but none of that either. Instead, we’re outside the National Guard Armory…in a tent. Not an ideal situation, but it makes for a unique environment, and it’s far better than cancelling. The theme of tonight is promoting the next generation of ROH stars. Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Izzy, Hydro, Nigel McGuiness, Roderick Strong, Austin Aries and Jack Evans are lined up to take each other on in a series of randomly drawn singles bouts, with the crowd getting to vote at the end of the night on which wrestlers impressed the most. Not entirely sure I’m excited about that idea, but it doesn’t matter terribly. The main event sees Homicide and Samoa Joe go at it AGAIN…this will be the fifth time they’ve met one-on-one in the company’s history, and at least two other clashes in other matches come to mind. This really should be it for this feud…Homicide must get it done tonight. We’re back in Philadelphia, PA for the first time in 2004. Hosts are Chris Lovey, and Mark Nulty, who given the circumstances of his debut last week (he commentated on an hours notice) was pretty decent.

Top 5 Rankings –

1. Homicide
2. BJ Whitmer
3. Alex Shelley
4. Bryan Danielson
5. John Walters

The Prophecy open up once again, and they’re pretty excited, since they have a Tag Title match. More Maff promo awesomeness as he talks about them winning the belts last week. Maff wants them to be on the same page tonight…and if they don’t win the belts tonight, he’s quitting The Prophecy.

Trent Acid is Colt’s guest tonight, and this is his second appearance on the show. Acid is focusing on his singles career…because it’s ‘T-Time’. This provokes an exchange which has me rolling off my seat with laughter as they discuss the time on Colt Cabana’s imaginary watch. Acid knows who sh*t in the Carnage Crew’s bag, and he finds it a big laugh. The Carnage Crew storm the set and demand to know who did it…but Masada convinces them to back off. Acid says he’ll bring the mystery sh*tters to the ring with him for a match tonight…and Colt is hiding under his desk.

We’re all set for what would undoubtedly be one of the worst Scramble Matches ever, as it was to be Dunn & Marcos against the returning Christopher Street Connection and Special K…unfortunately, before Special K can even make it to the ring, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans and Alex Shelley charge the ring and put a hurting on the CSC. Shelley grabs the mic and announces that not only will their be no Scramble Match, but there’ll be no Generation Next series either…instead him, Aries, Strong and Evans are teaming up to TAKE spots in ROH, and they’re hijacking the name of the show for their group. Dunn & Marcos attempt to avoid taking it anymore, but get destroyed…

Generation Next vs Special K – Scramble Match

So we don’t have that crappy Scramble, instead we get this. It’ll be Aries, Strong and Evans representing GeNext, and Izzy, Dixie and a neck-braced Angeldust representing Special K. K are still in their post-Scramble Cage II slump…and really do look to be lambs to the slaughter of Generation Next as they look to establish themselves here and now.

Aries and Dixie start, and Dixie gets a nifty springboard swinging DDT in. Angeldust tagged back in, and his longer hair is so gay-looking. Neckbreaker from Aries, before he rips the neck brace off, then kicks him in the spine. Jack Evans in…and Angeldust just about manages a rolling cradle. Dropkick from Angeldust buys him enough time to tag in Izzy. Moonsault kick sends Evans flipping through the air. German suplex from Evans, before he brings in ‘the Messiah of the backbreaker’ (cool nickname) Rod Strong. He avoids the moonsault kick, then rocks Izzy with multiple backbreakers. Headscissors from Izzy sends Strong to the floor – FOR SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW PLANCHA! Evans is in the ring, but Izzy stops him diving. HEAD DROP reverse hurricanrana from Evans gets 2 before Angeldust saves.

STO from Aries gets 2, before Dixie nails him with a Side Effect. Strong in with a POWERBOMB BACKBREAKER on Izzy. Springboard corkscrew blockbuster from Izzy, and this time Evans has to save. ARIES NAILS A 450 ON DIXIE…SPINAL SHOCK FROM STRONG TO ANGELDUST…IZZY GETS AN EVANS 630 SENTON! Generation Next win at 08:20.

Rating – ** –
Funky little opening shindig, and aside from Angeldust not being particularly great, it was a nice advertisement for what the other five can do. Izzy and Dixie looked as good as they ever have…whilst Strong, Aries and Evans got to show all their trademark stuff. Nothing to phone home about, but fun.

Alex Shelley belittles Special K because they don’t have any real wrestlers…and Hydro steps into the ring to a DEAFENING pop.

Alex Shelley vs Hydro

WHAT an opportunity this is for Hydro. He’s always been considered one of the best wrestlers in the Special K group, but hasn’t really had much chance to show it. He’s only wrestled seriously (as Jay Lethal in fact) once, way back on a High Impact TV taping at Final Battle 2002 against Homicide. His Special K antics haven’t really allowed him to show off his wrestling ability at all, so lets see what he can produce here. Shelley is on full of confidence after beating Field Of Honor winner Matt Stryker at Round Robin Challenge 3.

The tent really allows you to hear Hydro’s noisy family that I’ve heard so much about. Surfboard from Shelley, which he turns into an STF. Hydro niftily flips out of that. NASTY innovative stretch from Shelley, but he gets caught in an armbar and has to grab the ropes. Hiptoss from Shelley, but he gets a big reverse elbow, then a crisp snap suplex. Neckbreaker over the knee from Shelley, then a running STO backbreaker for 2. Modified abdominal stretch, with added arm around the throat…but not content with two made up submission holds in the match, he folds Hydro up and goes for a third. Knee dropped off the top rope to the back of the neck gets 2. Hydro goes for a Mexican roll up, but Shelley blocks and goes for the Border City Stretch. Hydro escapes, and he takes Shelley down with a stroke…bridging camel clutch locked in! Shelley rolls out of a pumphandle…SHELLSHOCK! BORDER CITY STRETCH!! Hydro taps at 07:29.

Rating – *** –
At the moment, it seems like Alex Shelley is to straight-wrestling matches what Samoa Joe is to World Title matches. He’s so innovative and logical (always attacking the neck for his finish), he seems to find it difficult to have a bad match. Hydro didn’t exactly get a massive amount of time to show what he could do, as the whole match was designed to put Shelley and GeNext over, but he carried his end well.

Shelley tries to recruit Hydro for Generation Next, but foolishly he refuses. That was pretty dumb…and he gets wigger-b*tched at by Evans for that.

Carnage Crew vs Trent Acid/Danny Daniels/Masada

Yep, the mystery sh*tters were Danny Daniels (in shiny new Carnage Crew gear) and Masada (hence he stopped the Crew from attacking Acid earlier), and now we have another 6 man tag, as it’ll be Loc, DeVito and Justin Credible taking on the sh*tting duo and Trent Acid, who isn’t part of their group…but just knew who did it. Lovey just reminded me, Daniels and Loc had a rivalry when they were both referees at the tail end of ECW…

Daniels throws Loc into the rails, as DeVito is laying into Masada. Acid is going at it with Credible in the ring. Daniels saves Acid from That’s Incredible, then gets a superkick. Acid and Masada take down Justin. Double backbreaker by Daniels and Masada gets 2. Swinging gutbuster from Daniels keeps Credible on the mat. Justin ducks a Yakuza kick from Trent, then SUPERKICKS him in the face as he goes for a springboard swinging DDT. Loc in with a swinging bulldog on Daniels, then a neckbreaker over the knee into a neckbreaker for 2. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX ON MASADA! NO SOLD!! DeVito knocks Masada out of the ring with a dropkick. PESCADO FROM CREDIBLE…BUT MASADA CATCHES HIM. Carnageplex on Daniels…SPLASH MOUNTAIN NECKBREAKER on Acid. They set up for the Carnage Driver on Acid, but Masada saves with a chair. Swinging back suplex from Daniels, as Masada wraps DeVito’s leg around the ringpost. YAKUZA KICK ON LOC! Acid wins it at 06:33.

Rating – ** –
I might catch some flak for this…but I really liked this match. It was basic, but well worked, with some exciting stuff thrown in for kicks. I loved how Trent Acid was worked into this match – he saw what happened and is a dick so thought it was funny, and he carried that part well, even stealing the win. Cool to see Masada break away from the Crew and get a bit of a push, as he’s been impressive in the last few months. Not quite so sure Danny Daniels is ready for this, but at least a feud with the Carnage Crew means he won’t have to actually wrestle so much.

It would be time for Jimmy Rave against John Walters (with Rave fighting to save his career – he’s such a jobber that if he loses, ROH won’t book him again). The fans are singing the ‘goodbye’ song at him…poor scrawny, geeky-looking bastard. However, Generation Next arrive to take their spots. Strong attacks Walters with a GOKU RAKU PILEDRIVER as Aries and Shelley wear out Rave. More whiny-voiced bleatings from Evans before they leave…does Generation Next mean we’ll have to listen to him more?…sigh,

Jimmy Jacobs vs Nigel McGuiness

These two poor chaps were supposed to be in the Generation Next series, and luckily, they still get this match, and this chance to make an impact, despite all the turmoil that’s going on with the rest of the show. Last time we saw Nigel, he won a spectacular fourway at Reborn Stage 2. Jimmy Jacobs didn’t have a great Reborn weekend, losing to Alex Shelley in a Six Man Mayhem at Stage 1, then jobbing to Jack Evans in a Scramble at Stage 2, which led to Shelley casting him off as excess baggage.

Nigel tries to pick the arm but just gets HUSS’d at. Unfortunately, McGuiness has that British chain-wrestling thing going on and Jimmy finds it hard going to get some offence in. Chest slaps from Jacobs….ROPE WALK HAND BITE! Jacobs misses a big boot, then McGuiness drops him with a wristlock takedown. He looks for his hammerlock pedigree, but Jacobs avoids that. McGuiness headstands in the corner – then comes down WITH A REVERSE SUPLEX INTO AN ACE CRUSHER! Nigel goes back to the headstand but Jacobs blocks this time. McGuiness blocks the Contra Code…BIG BOOT NAILED! Jimmy misses a double stomp off the top and gets rolled up for 2. UNPRETTIER from Jacobs…also gets 2. He looks for the Contra Code again but McGuiness blocks it…HAMMERLOCK PEDIGREE! That shortarm scissors wristlock submission he uses wins it at 09:22.

Rating – *** – What an awesome little match that was. Great comedy in the early going as all Nigel’s arm work just made Jacobs HUSS more. It did eventually break down to Nigel’s usual solid attack on the arm, which led directly to the finish, and I always dig that.

Shawn Price bothers Homicide and Julius Smokes…Homicide isn’t too keen on that and slings him out.

CM Punk/Colt Cabana vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer – ROH Tag Title No DQ Match

With Daniels gone, this really doesn’t seem to be about the Saints/Prophecy feud, which frankly may as well be over. What this is about is Punk and Cabana defending the belts against the team that won the Title from them last week in Boston. Remember, Maff has said if they don’t get it done tonight, he’s quitting The Prophecy.

Punk and Whitmer start out, and BJ has to beat on both Saints before pulling Cabana to his corner and tagging in Maff. Maff front suplexes Cabana onto the top rope, then blocks a slingshot sunset flip attempt. Punk trips Maff up from the outside, then tags into the match. Double boot/cannonball combo from Maff and Whitmer…except Cabana stops Maff and crotches him against the ringpost. Punk suplexes BJ, but can’t pin because Allison Danger has the referee distracted. Colt in with a rolling neck ringer, which BJ attempts to counter with a Boston crab but gets forearmed in the face by Punk.

Punk puts Whitmer into a headscissors…and again BJ’s attempt at a counter gets halted by the other Saint. Russian legsweep from Cabana, into a slingshot hilo from Punk for 2. Double underhook backbreaker from Punk, as BJ has been completely isolated right now. Inverted crab from Cabana, and the camel clutch from the Saints.

RUNNING BOOTSCRAPE from Punk. Cabana attempts to whip him for a second but he MISSES! Punk sails through the ropes to the floor and Maff is finally tagged in. Spinebuster from Maff, before he catches Punk with a belly to bell ONTO Cabana! Mule kick from Punk…LEAPFROG RANA NAILED! Clothesline into a HEAD DROP GERMAN by Maff and Whitmer. DOUBLE TOPE CONNECTS! The fight has spilled to the floor where Punk gets the CANNONBALL! Ringside isn’t enough either, as they teams fight out of the tent and into the field. Maff and Whitmer swing some chairs, then send Cabana into a spear on Punk. Cabana gets a chair and goes after a fan…so Maff ROCKS him with a chair shot. Punk and BJ are back in the ring, where a SHINING WIZARD gets Punk 2.

Punk to the top, but Maff SHOVES HIM TO THE FLOOR! Whitmer catches Cabana on the top and takes him down with a superplex. DIVING HEADBUTT FROM MAFF…GUILLOTINE LEG DROP FROM PUNK! Punk goes for a Shining Wizard on Maff but gets knocked down with a clothesline. Colt throws Maff out then dropkicks him through the ropes. Punk drags BJ to the top rope, and Maff makes the save to avoid the Pepsi Plunge. All four man brawl on the top…Cabana and Maff go down – PEPSI PLUNGE ON WHITMER! The Saints retain at 19:18.

Rating – *** –
The second half of the match was great, a really watchable back and forth No DQ match, but I felt the 9 minutes or so really hurt this. Don’t get me wrong, all the tag work was solid, particularly from Punk and Cabana, who are like a machine when they team up. The problem was, it went nowhere. They isolated BJ without ever looking particularly malicious in doing so, and when he finally made the tag to Maff, it wasn’t hot because the tag was so anticipated (like Mark Briscoe’s final tag to Jay in the RRC3 match last week), it was hot because the work on BJ had become dull.

INTERMISSION – GMC is with Special K, and they all look on the point of tears. Dixie points out they have to do something because they’re getting their asses kicked all the time now.

Shawn Price is an irritant to The Prophecy again…’why are you always bothering us’ – Allison. It is odd how he only seems to interview The Prophecy or Homicide/Smokes. Anyway, Danger doesn’t let him in…much as I wouldn’t.

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Outcast Killaz

No commentary due to the technical sucktitude of the Killaz. Anyway, they left ring crew at long last in Boston, as they joined Prince Nana in The Embassy. Does this mean they’re now a tag team to be feared and respected? This is definitely a chance to prove themselves against the team who have done more than any other to put the ROH tag team scene on the map.

Jay and Oman start out, and Oman won’t go into a test of strength with Briscoe. Springboard dropkick from Mark drops Oman, then Diablo comes in to take a double sidewalk slam from the Briscoes. Double boots in the corner for poor Tortuga, but he manages to kick out before 3. HEAD DROP urinage from Mark gets 2. He goes for the Cutthroat Driver but Oman escapes, and he hits a swinging facebuster which allows him to tag out to Diablo. Double hiptoss facebuster by the Killaz gets 2. Santiago puts Mark in a half crab…for about 2 seconds before he makes the ropes. Mark off the top rope, but he gets caught and planted with an urinage backbreaker for 2.

Northern lights from Mark, rolled into a fishermans buster, and he tags out to Jay. Mafia kicks for both Killaz, and Santiago almost gets put away with the falcon arrow. CUTTHROAT DRIVER ON OMAN…JAY DRILLER ON DIABLO…and that’s all she wrote at 04:40.

Rating – * –
A squash, but there was lots of nice offence on display there. Jay and Mark are as good a tag team as you’ll see anywhere right now, and the few moves the Outcast Killaz got in, they were pretty cool as well.

Nana and Josh Daniels are pissed off at the embarrassingly poor performance of Diablo and Oman…and once they’ve vacated ringside, Generation Next decide it’s time for them to make another appearance. They want the Briscoe’s spots as well…and Jay and Mark are ready to fight. Jimmy Rave and John Walters come out to help them since GeNext took then out earlier…and now we have ourselves an 8-man.

Generation Next vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/John Walters/Jimmy Rave

8 Man Tag here, and bizarrely, six of these guys have already wrestled tonight – with the other two victims of a beat down by Generation Next earlier. Shelley, Aries, Strong and Evans have decided to use this show to make a name for themselves and their new faction, and they have succeeded. However, they now face a stern test in 3 of ROH’s hottest young stars…and Jimmy Rave. This should be interesting, as it’s probably the highest profile match the Generation Next guys and Jimmy Rave have been in in ROH. Can Evans hang in a serious match, as well as in spotfests. Can Jimmy Rave prove himself a serious wrestler, not a jobtastic joke? Austin Aries and Rod Strong are making only their SECOND main show appearances tonight, and Shelley has had some impressive little matches, but bar the Jacobs match at The Last Stand, no real chance to steal the show.

Rave and Strong start and they trade arm holds before Mark Briscoe tags in. Strong catches Briscoe in an armbar, then tags Shelley in. Walters in as well and he drops a flurry elbows across Shelley’s leg. Surfboard on Shelley, then an overhand wristlock. Shelley busts out some swanky chain wrestling around the wrist to break that. Evans in with Walters, and unsurprisingly Walters hammers him down then tags Rave. Test of strength which Rave wins, then Jay is brought in for the first time. He’s not in long, as he brings Mark in, who works a dragon sleeper, intermingled with kicks to the spine. Aries in, and he works over Mark’s arm as well, with a rolling hammerlock. Knucklelock test of strength between these two, which Aries rolls into a rear chinlock. Jay and Aries now…and Jay gets a harsh kick to the side of the head. Rod Strong is back, and he chops as hard as anybody in wrestling folks. FOREARM WAR! Nobody does those like Jay Briscoe.

Alex Shelley returns and locks in the full nelson with the legs. Jay makes the tag to Walters, and he clings onto a headscissors. Dropkick gets Walters a 2. Walters lifts Austin onto the apron, but he springs right back in with a reverse elbow. STF WITH CROSSFACES rocks Aries, then he goes for the Sharpshooter. No dice there, and tags are made to both Rave and Shelley. Rave avoids a dropkick…Shelley avoids the Crappy Wizard and rolls to the floor. Jay and Strong are back in the ring together once again, with Strong getting a 2 with a vertical suplex. Evans-Mark now so naturally the pace quickens. Evans gets STUNG with a lariat then rocked with some chops in the corner. Walters in…AND HE ELECTRIC CHAIR THROWS EVANS OVER THE BRISCOES KNEES!

POWERBOMB from Walters who is being particularly brutal on Evans it seems. Rave puts Evans in a surfboard before tagging Mark in who continues the work on the back. Jay tagged, and the Briscoes hit the leg drop/sidewalk slam, which brings the rest of Generation Next sprinting across the ring to break the pin. MOONSAULT KICK from Evans, and he tags Strong in. Cradle backbreaker from Strong, complete with a kick to the leg by Shelley. Shelley tags in and rolls Jay into a cloverleaf. Aries tags in with a knee drop over Jay’s injured leg. Shinbreaker into a back suplex gets Aries a 2. Strong is legal and he works a headlock, but he has the knee locked as well. We move past the 25 minute mark here. Rod tries to whip Jay, but his leg just buckles beneath him. Mafia kick buys Jay enough time to make the tag to Rave. Shelley jumps Rave from behind…and again Shelley avoids the Crappy Wizard. Superkick on Aries, before he grabs Strong and tags Walters in.

Shelley crotches himself in the corner which sets him up for the DOUBLE KNEE BACKBREAKER! Strong looks for an ace crusher, but Walters escapes, then tangles both Strong and Shelley into a submission. Evans across the ring to kick the Briscoes to the floor…THEN MOONSAULTS AT THEM OFF THE RINGPOST! Walters and Strong TRADE German suplexes…before Strong hits a double knee gutbuster. Swinging neckbreaker off the ropes by Aries, then a knee to the neck as he targets the neck that was injured with the Goku Raku piledriver that Walters took earlier in the show.

Strong tags in and he folds Walters up with a leg across the neck. Shelley is next, as he works a bridging camel clutch. Walters takes a DDT from Aries, before Austin draws all of the opposing team into the ring so he can switch places with Strong. MutaLock applied, then Jack Evans is tagged in. He clutches at a wristlock with the neck bent out of shape as well. Clothesline from Walters and he tags in Mark Briscoe, who flies in with a missile dropkick. Jay lifts Aries onto his shoulders for the SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY DEVICE! MARK WITH A PESCADO ON STRONG! SHELLEY PUTS JAY IN THE STRYKERLOCK! Rave makes the save…SATELLITE CROSSFACE! CRAPPY WIZARD FINALLY SCORES…and Strong has to save. He takes the STO backbreaker, but then suplexes Jimmy into a suplex of his own. Walters northern lights suplexes Aries…AND EVANS LANDS ON HIM WITH A SHOOTING STAR PRESS! MARK HITS ROD STRONG WITH AN SSP AS WELL!

Mark and Evans get in each others faces now…EVANS WITH A HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX! NO SOLD…CUTTHROAT DRIVEEEEER! JAY DRILLER ON STRONG! ARIES WITH A 450 ON JAY AS HE’S ON THE MAT! Walters saves at the very last second – SUPER HURRICANE DDT! Messy because of the injured neck, but effective nonetheless. There’s fighting on the floor…SO JACK EVANS TAKES THEM ALL OUT WITH A SPRINGBOARD 450! Shelley double stomps the back of Walters’ neck – BORDER CITY STRETCH! Walters taps at 41:22.

Rating – ****1/2 –
WOOOOO! The Generation Next chaps get thrown together and instantly produce an absolute classic. Wonderful match, that was given all the time it needed to develop and mature into a quality showstealer, and an outside MOTY candidate. So much depth and interesting stuff to see here. Rave and Evans were kept out of the ring for long periods, as they were undoubtedly the weakest members of the two teams. However, whenever they were in the ring, they were doing something that made a difference, and Evans was really impressive with his performance here. Multiple psychological aspects rocked as well, as GeNext worked first Jay’s leg, then went to Walters’ injured neck as they probed away at the babyface team in order to get the victory.

It just shows the extent of the talent at ROH’s disposal right now…it’s so deep that they’re able to sling 8 midcarders out there, give them 40 minutes and rightfully expect a classic match…and they delivered. What a match!

‘ROH’, ‘Match Of The Year’ and ‘Thank You’ chants sound through the tent, as the 8 men get a standing ovation for those efforts.

That being done, it’s now time for confrontation between CM Punk and Ricky Steamboat…unfortunately hosted by Gary Capetta. The ‘DIE DIE DIE’ prick is here, and Punk wants him to jump the rail and attack him. Basically they trade words (Punk foolishly brings up Steve Austin and gets the ‘WHAT’ treatment), and brawl before Colt Cabana jumps Steamboat from behind and we get the Pre-Wrestlemania III angle where Punk DROPS THE RINGBELL across the Dragon’s throat. BJ Whitmer and Dan Maff finally sprint out to make a save…babyface turn?

Samoa Joe vs Homicide – ROH World Title Match

Right, so one more time it’s Joe vs Homicide, and can Homicide bring home the World title at the third time of asking? They’ve been feuding for so long, on and off since February 2003, and it has to end, as things are getting more violent, more personal, and in some people’s minds, more tedious as the months roll on. We all know the story, they had a classic at Do Or Die…Homicide won the rematch at Empire State Showdown to get himself another ROH Title shot at Reborn Stage 1. And that was where he snapped. He thought he had the title won, and when he didn’t he threw a fireball in Joe’s face, and hasn’t been the same Homicide since. He’s racked up big wins against Bryan Danielson and Spanky, using questionable tactics in both, and brought the Havana Pitbulls into his Rottweiler stable. Himself, Ricky Reyes and Julius Smokes beat down Samoa Joe last week in Boston…this has to end tonight. I don’t like Joe’s new music (‘The Champ Is Here’ – Jadakiss)…thought I’d add that. This the anniversary of the Do Or Die match apparently…

The ring is just doused in streamers, and Homicide and Joe just fight through them. Double clothesline takes down both Homicide and Smokes. ELBOW SUICIDAAAAAA! Smokes gets put on a chair, but Homicide blocks the Ole Ole Kick. Smokes inadvertently clotheslines Homicide down…AND GETS THE OLE OLE KICK! He goes for a second, but Homicide stops that and we go back inside. Homicide misses a knee drop then gets taken over with a powerslam. BOOTSCRAPES in the corner, then the running one for extra punishment. They fight on the top rope, and Homicide bites the ear then rides him to the canvas. Neckbreakers single out the neck he injured last week at Round Robin Challenge 3.

Back to the floor, and Homicide hammers Joe with a chair. He tries to suplex him off the apron through a table, but Joe pulls him back into the ring with a suplex of his own. They just tee off on each other with stiff strikes, before Joe floors him with a big slap. Abdominal stretch from Joe, with the added leg stretch for extra punishment. Homicide escapes an Island Driver and enzi kicks Joe to the floor…BUT MISSES THE TOPE CON HILO AND SAILS THROUGH THE TABLE!

SUPLEX INTO THE TABLE WRECKAGE from Joe. Homicide takes a spear into the rail, as Smokes and the referee get into an argument because J-Train was trying to hit Joe with a chair. Homicide uses the chair instead…and now he has a fork! JOE GETS STABBED IN THE FACE…DISGUSTING! Joe is busted open for the first time in his ROH career…and once again this is graphic stuff. Homicide is just raking at his forehead with the fork. Jump swinging DDT from Homicide gets 2. Homicide dives off the ropes again – DESPERATION STO SLAP. Powerbomb into a Boston crab from Joe but Homicide escapes. DEATH VALLEY DRIVER SCORES…and Joe gets 2.

Joe wants the Musclebuster but Homicide counters…LARIAT FROM HOMICIDE…ONLY FOR 2!! Homicide goes for a piledriver, but that gets countered with an Alabamaslam. HEAD DROP BACK SUPLEX…PILEDRIVER…AND JOE STILL KICKS OUT! E HONDA SLAPS SCORE…but Homicide drops him with another neckbreaker. He locks in the STF…AND STARTS FORKING JOE AS HE DOES IT! MORE E HONDA SLAPS FROM JOE…ISLAND DRIVER SCORES…AND HOMICIDE KICKS OUT! HOMICIDE NAILS LARIAT TO THE NECK…but Joe escapes the Cop Killa and almost wins it with a lariat of his own. Brainbuster wins Joe the match at 19:58.

Rating – **** –
Their best match since Do Or Die, as it finally recaptured some of the intense emotion and desire that went with the original battle…but it never quite got that good. Unlike Empire State Showdown, the hardcore stuff they did had meaning, and they recaptured all the great wrestling exchanges they broke out at Reborn Stage 1 to put on a real corker…until the finish, which is horrible. It’s been criticised enough so I won’t dwell on it…but how can Homicide be made out to be a credible title challenger when he continually fails to beat Joe, and then jobs to relatively non-descript moves like the brainbuster. Why not another Island Driver? Had this match had a finish to match the rest of it, it may have been pushing up to Do Or Die-standard.

Maff and Whitmer are in each other’s faces again, as a bedraggled looking Allison Danger whines in protest. Maff says he’s giving The Prophecy one more shot. He walks off, and Whitmer and Danger look shocked.

Back at ringside, the fans are chanting for Homicide…which makes him absolutely irate. He grabs a chair and swings at anything in sight, then attacks the pillar holding up the tent ‘EVACUATE…EVACUAAAAAATE!’ – Lovey delivering one of his all time classic lines.

Tape Rating – *** –
Essentially this show was the four Generation Next guys and the main event. Shelley, Strong, Aries and Evans put themselves on the map in a major way, as they were involved in pretty much every segment of note on the show…then we had the great Joe/Homicide match. The 8 man tag stole the show and is one of the best matches of the year thus far, and there was lots more consistently good stuff besides. The only actively bad match was the Briscoes against the Outcast Killaz, and that was less than 5 minutes…absolutely nothing to complain about here. There are better shows, but it’s a solid purchase…it probably just shades Round Robin Challenge 3 too.

Top 3 Matches

3) CM Punk/Colt Cabana vs Dan Maff/BJ Whitmer (***)

2) Samoa Joe vs Homicide (****)

1) Generation Next vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe/John Walters/Jimmy Rave (****1/2)

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